What to do when in SVT (supraventricular tachycardia)?

Posted by ashby1947 @ashby1947, Jan 7, 2020

I have had several episodes of SVT, the last of which landed me in the hospital for several days and a change of medication to diltiazim (along with my many others). I will be reviewed by an EP in a few months (!) and probably discuss having an ablation. I have a very complicated heart history – open heart surgery to repair mitral valve, episodes of Afib, cardioversions, an ablation, etc., but overall am in very good health. My heart and I get along pretty well! This SVT is annoying, however. When I’m in an episode, I try vagal maneuvers, which has worked a couple of times. Otherwise, I have to head to the hospital with my heart rate thundering at 160 – 190. I’m not really frightened by all this, probably because I”ve been through so much; however, the fear of SVT is ever present. This causes me to restrict airplane travel and activities which would involve not being close to a hospital. I mean, what do I do at 35,000 feet when I can’t get my heart rate down and I’m 4 hours ( 8 hours on an oversees flight) away from land? If you have had any experience with SVT, I would welcome your experience and suggestions. I hope this finds you all well! Thank you, Sue

@noydb

First, find a cardiologist whom you trust and can easily discuss EVERYTHING. My husband was in a situation similar to yours; I'm an RN and accompanied him to everything. After 2 scary hospitalizations, endless testing, recommendations, certain suggestions he did NOT want to follow… We decided on ablation. It is a very common established procedure, and very low risk in the hands of an experienced interventional cardiologist. Don't be afraid to ask the doctor about his complication rate, experience, alternatives to ablation, etc. For example, my husband did NOT want an ICD, but he also didn't want any more adenosine.

The procedure went very well, and he's been symptom free since that very day! Keep in mind: you'll need to be on a blood thinner for a while, the procedure is typically done under general anesthesia, be certain you get a clear picture of the risks and benefits of both the procedure and the anesthesia, and that you'll need pre- and post-procedure testing and follow up. He is doing great, and we're very happy with our decision.

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Noydb – Happy for the positive outcome.
How long following ablation was your husband allowed to stop the blood thinner?
I have had one elctrophysiologist tell me he would take me off after 3-4 months of constant sinus rhythm. Two others say you need to stay on a blood thinner for life. Are they just altra conservative? Maybe others have experience with this also? Staying on blood thinner scares me since am always banging myself up & history of nose bleeds. Have been in sinus rhythm for 5 months post ablation. Feel fine. No other underlying.

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@nancirae

I had SVT . Best thing I ever did was have the ablation. Didn't have to be on blood thinner.

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to Nanci and noydb – Always nice to read the success stories you both share with ablation. I had an ablation in March and thankfully remain in sinus rhythm. EKG confirmed at post 4 months – now going on 7 with no underlying issues. Do have occasional PAC's but not often. My Mayo doc said I would have to be on a blood thinner for life ? Another cardiologist said could drop blood thinner after 3-4 months with aspirin if remain in constant rhythm. Very active and always beating myself up. Xarelto scares me with bleed risk. Don't want to be on this long term.
Most interested in circumstances allowing your docs to not require or stop blood thinners.
ray

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All, I am new to the group. I'm 53 and have had SVTs for 20+ years. Mine last hours and thanks to my Kardia device, I finally caught them and have been referred for an ablation procedure. My question is this. Once the cardiologist identified them, he put me on Metatropolol, which has caused weight gain, headaches, digestive issues and overall lethargy. I'm not a fan of how I feel or the prospect of staying on them for life (one solution to ablation provided by EP). I am very active and do not like how I feel or the side effects I'm having. My EP just recommended switching to Diltiazem. After reading more about this medication, I'm worried about making the switch. Can anyone share their experiences with either of these meds? I'm going back in Feb. to talk next steps, but am definitely leaning toward ablation as opposed to lifelong meds. Thanks!

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@lisadib

All, I am new to the group. I'm 53 and have had SVTs for 20+ years. Mine last hours and thanks to my Kardia device, I finally caught them and have been referred for an ablation procedure. My question is this. Once the cardiologist identified them, he put me on Metatropolol, which has caused weight gain, headaches, digestive issues and overall lethargy. I'm not a fan of how I feel or the prospect of staying on them for life (one solution to ablation provided by EP). I am very active and do not like how I feel or the side effects I'm having. My EP just recommended switching to Diltiazem. After reading more about this medication, I'm worried about making the switch. Can anyone share their experiences with either of these meds? I'm going back in Feb. to talk next steps, but am definitely leaning toward ablation as opposed to lifelong meds. Thanks!

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Hi, After 7 Er visits where they stopped my heart and restarted it I decided to go for the ablation. Best thing I ever did. Never had another SVT. Why are you waiting so long? Go for it.

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@nancirae

Hi, After 7 Er visits where they stopped my heart and restarted it I decided to go for the ablation. Best thing I ever did. Never had another SVT. Why are you waiting so long? Go for it.

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Hi,
So long because they could never identify the trigger. Looks like PACs are the trigger. The doctor really pissed me off, so I'm going to another in February.

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